Media Ran With Claim That ‘Nonbinary’ Teen Died From ‘Brain Trauma’ Caused By Bullies. It Was Actually A Drug Overdose.
A candle light vigil if held at As You Are Bar, a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community, in Washington, D.C., February 22, 2024, for Nex Benedict.
Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images

A medical examiner has determined that the death of Oklahoma “nonbinary” teenager Nex Benedict, which became a national news story based on media suggestions that the teen died from a beating by bullies, actually died from an intentional drug overdose.

In a statement, the Owasso Police Department said it waited to release the cause of death until the toxicology report was completed, KJRH reported. That toxicology report indicates that Benedict died by suicide, the result of an overdose of Diphenhydramine and Fluoxetine, or, Benadryl and Prozac.

“From the beginning of this investigation, Owasso Police observed many indications that this death was the result of suicide,” the police statement said. “However, investigators did not wish to confirm that information without the final results being presented by the Oklahoma Medical Examiners Office.”

The original narrative surrounding Benedict’s death was that the teen died as a result of a beating from three girls who had been bullying Benedict and Benedict’s friends. Teen Vogue reported when the story broke that “a source who claimed to be the mother of Benedict’s best friend told a local outlet the cause of death was ‘complications from brain trauma,’ and that ‘three older girls were beating the victim and her daughter in the girl’s bathroom.’”

This same anonymous source told the outlet that Benedict needed help walking to the nurses’ station after the fight and that Benedict texted a family member saying the teen “got jumped at school 3 on 1 had to go to the ER.” Benedict also claimed the girls “had been bullying me and my friends and I got tired of it so I poured some water on them and all 3 came after me. School did not report to the police and is probably getting sued.”

Other media outlets followed that general narrative, while also blaming Oklahoma law that requires students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex.

The narrative of the tragedy was revealed to be completely different than what certain media outlets reported. Benedict told a police officer while in the hospital with no visible injuries that the three girls didn’t actually start the fight, according to The Oklahoman.

“They said something like ‘why do they laugh like that,’ and they were talking about us, in front of us,” Benedict told police officer Caleb Thompson, referring to the other girls involved in the fight. “So, I went up and poured water on them and all three of them came at me.”

Benedict’s mother told the officer that the three girls had bullied Benedict and the teen’s friends previously, even claiming the girls had thrown things at them. But the actual encounter that took place the day before Benedict died involved Benedict instigating the fight. Throughout the interview, Benedict’s mother refers to Benedict using female pronouns.

Thompson also informed Nex that because of this, Benedict could face assault charges.

“You got freedom of speech,” Thompson told Benedict and Benedict’s mother, referring to the other teen girls. “The minute you threw water on them you made the first jab. It may not go the direction you want it to go.”

“Running the mouth is freedom of speech, unfortunately,” the officer adds. “You can say mean, hurtful things all day long and you gotta let it roll off your shoulder.”

Benedict returned home from the hospital but the next day, Benedict’s mother called 911 to report the teen’s breathing was shallow. Benedict died shortly after – due to an overdose, not any physical trauma.

Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters previously called out the media’s portrayal of Benedict’s tragic death.

“I think it’s terrible that we’ve had some radical leftists who decided to run with a political agenda and try to weave a narrative that hasn’t been true,” Walters told The New York Times in February. “You’ve taken a tragedy, and you’ve had some folks try to exploit it for political gain.”

“We’ve been told death wasn’t directly related to the fight at school,” he added.

The same New York Times article, several paragraphs above the claims by Walters, suggests that her death was related to the fight the day before, referring to “the death earlier this month of a 16-year-old nonbinary student a day after an altercation in a high school girls’ bathroom.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Media Ran With Claim That ‘Nonbinary’ Teen Died From ‘Brain Trauma’ Caused By Bullies. It Was Actually A Drug Overdose.